Another long day. First we walked around Piccadilly Circus, which reminds me of a more elegant Times Square. Tried to capture the place in one wide shot but found it impossible, so I was only able to catch it in snippets. Just one of those places that you have to see to really know.
Then Callie and I popped into Fortnum & Mason, kind of a higher-end Macy's, to slobber over their delectable sweets. We treated ourselves to one truffle apiece. Mine was in the shape of a little teacup and so beautifully-decorated! It looked exactly like a teeny little teacup.
Then we walked to the National Gallery by Trafalgar Square. Wow! A sweeping monument to Lord Nelson memorializing his death in the Battle of Trafalgar against the French and Spanish navies in 1805. The British won and he's considered one of their greatest war heroes. With a monument like his, it's pretty obvious. Again, really hard to capture the awesomeness of the statue soaring over the square, looking toward Big Ben (I think), but the picture I chose just about manages it. I had to tilt my head way back to get the shot and immediately felt a dizzying vertigo, the statue is so tall.
National Gallery - again, free. So great. Saw a special exhibition there by the artist Michael Landy called Saints Alive. Wasn't allowed to take photos, but he was inspired by portraits of various saints in the Gallery to create some mechanized sculptures of them. You could press foot pedals or buttons and they would move, depict that particular saint's affliction or manner of death. One was just a giant wooden wheel that represented Saint Catherine. She was tortured on a wheel. Landy painted various quotes around the wheel based on her life story, and when you spin the wheel it lands on your "fortune" ("Milk instead of blood will flow from your body" etc.) Don't ask. Just look up her story if you want to know more.
Then we took a bus over to Tower Bridge - beautiful. Got a peek at the Tower of London, which I'll visit later.
Today I'm packing, doing a little writing, preparing for my trip to PARIS! We leave this afternoon, so my next post, dear friends, will be from the City of Light!
GUEST WRITER'S BIO
Vicki Speegle is an award-winning screenwriter whose feature script LOVED ONES was in development at Amazon Studios and was a finalist for best screenplay. Her screenplay DEAREST was a finalist for the 2011 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and her television pilot THE WAKES OF WILBUR POE recently placed in the finals of Slamdance.
Vicki grew up the daughter of a gay single mom turned pastor in Akron, Ohio, where she helped take care of her two younger brothers, an experience that provided fodder for a number of short stories and scripts. Her infatuation with storytelling began at the age of five when she sent a love letter to Donny Osmond, and since then she has worked an eclectic mix of jobs to support her writing habit, including 4 years in the U.S. Navy tracking nuclear submarines on a tiny island called Adak, Alaska, assistant to a very eccentric New York City artist, and a brief bout as the world’s worst waitress. Vicki studied music performance and education at Akron University before making the move to New York University, where she earned her BFA in Film & Television Production. During her studies at NYU she interned as assistant to the editor for Ken Burns’ production of THE WEST. She wrote, directed, and produced several shorts, including her thesis film OLDER, which went on to screen at the Tribeca Underground Film Festival and won 2nd place in the Pioneer Theatre Short Film Slam in New York City.
After graduating from NYU, Vicki joined Rigas Entertainment as assistant to the Director of Development, helping in the development of feature films with directors Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) and Maggie Greenwald (SongCatcher). In 2005 Vicki began shooting a documentary about her mother’s struggle to reconcile her faith as a pastor with her advancing Alzheimer’s. The project is currently in post-production and has garnered the support of GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). In 2007 Vicki’s screenplay LOVED ONES placed in the top 5 of the Bluecat Screenplay Competition and won Screenplay Live at the Rochester Film Festival. Her works have placed in several other competitions, including Women in Film, Chesterfield, and American Zoetrope. Vicki’s credits include a teen comedy for Applause Films and radio scripts for Wynton Marsalis, Director of Jazz At Lincoln Center.
Vicki lives and works as a writer, filmmaker, and web producer in New Jersey. She is still waiting for Donny’s response.